I was having a conversation the other day with a close friend about one-pot meals. OK, the conversation was actually more about hating to wash the dishes, but along the same lines. He shared with me a Jambalaya recipe (not this one) which reminded me that I hadn’t made Jambalaya myself in a a while. GReat dish and this feeds an army of people. Shrimp / prawns are optional, but I like them, so in they went. Start to finish in under an hour.
In the last week or so, the topic of Peri Peri Sauce, or even more specifically “Nando’s Chicken” has come up at least 5 times … twice with acquaintances from South Africa and the remaining time with UK friends. That signaled to me that I should make my own. And then fate decided to tell me that I should really use the peppers from my own garden … which are mostly joloquia (ghost peppers) and habaneros, because actual peri peri chilis are near on impossible to find here. Anyway, voila … homemade Peri Peri Sauce. Spicy as all get out. Can be used on chicken (obviously), but also with veggies, fish or smear it on toast… 🙂 Be forewarned: recipe as written is crazy hot. If you want less spicy peri peri sauce, use less chilis or pick a variety that won’t kill you.
A few weeks ago, a friend was in Spain and he posted a photo of paella to his Facebook profile. More specifically, he posted a picture of a paella plate, empty, where his (apparently) very delicious paella had been. This got me to thinking about paella and that I hadn’t made any in a long time, and that I hadn’t posted a recipe to this site. So, I rectified that tonight by making this version with chicken, chorizo and shrimp. The one thing that I would be careful of is not to oversalt — when you are thickening the soffrito and then adding the stock, it could intensify the salt a lot so be careful. I didn’t oversalt, but it was close. Besides that, it was delicious.
I seem to be on a little bit of a kick to make one-pot (or one-pan meals). There are a lot of them out there, and I really don’t want to do any more dishes then I have to. Enter stage right, this One-Pan Chicken and Veggie Bake. I made it in one of my Le Creuset pans, but you could also just use a rimmed baking sheet. Also, I used carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, shallots and Brussels sprouts, but this would work with lots of other veggies — parsnips and turnips, red onions, even cauliflower or broccoli florets. Again, done in under ah hour (I seem to like those meals too).
This recipe isn’t so much about the ingredients as it is about the technique: butterflying (or spatchcocking) a whole chicken and then placing it in a searing hot cast iron skillet that you have heated to 500F in the oven. It’s a technique that was recently on America’s Test Kitchen and I thought that I would give it a go. The result: a yummy roasted bird in under an hour. I will have to remember to open the windows in the kitchen though, because it was a little smokey (just because my oven is old and there isn’t good airflow; most people likely won’t have this issue). Lovely comfort food on a wet January day.